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Breastfeeding but baby's weight gain has slowed

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 19, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Hi, I have a 9 week old baby who was born on the 50th percentile for weight. I've been paleo for 18 months but did relax it whilst pregnant, in particular having oats for breakfast. Since having the baby though I've tried to return to a stricter paleo plan and last week started a Whole 30. Problem is the bub has dropped to just the 3rd percentile in weight and although she seems alert and happy I'm worried that my paleo diet is not giving her what she needs to grow big and strong. The nurse has suggested a big milk based smoothie in the afternoon.

A normal day of food for me: Two poached eggs and jacket sweet potato for breakfast; Meat and sweet potato for lunch (leftovers); Meat, sweet potato and veggies or salad for dinner; Paleo banana muffin for a snack; Banana for a snack

Will I be cheating if I add in a smoothie or should I add in even more to help by beautiful little girl gain weight.

All thoughts and ideas much appreciated!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on August 19, 2013
at 11:31 PM

1)Have you been in touch with the La Leche League. They'll be able to sort you through a lot of medical myths with respect to breast feeding. Here's there website: http://www.llli.org/ 2) Look at the details of those statistics...Most of the babies you are comparing yours to are being supplemented with formula and being fed by mothers who are eating high carb diets. I wouldn't worry about your baby moving to the lower end of the scale - IF - your baby feels SOLID. That is the difference between healthy babies and SAD babies. Yours should be "heavy" or dense vs the "average" baby.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 19, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Likely serving size, and fats.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:37 PM

you wouldn't worry about a child who has fallen from 50th percentile to 3rd in 9 weeks? I would be mortified.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:36 PM

she's eating 2-3 sweet potatoes per day -- who is low carb?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:35 PM

Meat, Eggs, Potatoes, and Veggies... Where is she failing?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 19, 2013
at 03:21 PM

Sort of sounds like a typical faileo paleo diet to me. The same diet you'll get people posting about being sapped for energy on.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 02:48 PM

are you pumping? Do you weight the baby after each feeding? How much liquid are you drinking?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 02:33 PM

what makes you think she's under-eating? looks like a decent menu to me (of course the devil's in the serving sizes).

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5 Answers

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 19, 2013
at 11:42 AM

I know nothing of human babies, but know livestock and the principle of lactation is the same. It's a very energy intensive process and you're undereating by a lot at this point. Put down the paleo koolaid and eat, and eat lots. Starving yourself is starving your baby.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 19, 2013
at 06:18 PM

Likely serving size, and fats.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 19, 2013
at 03:21 PM

Sort of sounds like a typical faileo paleo diet to me. The same diet you'll get people posting about being sapped for energy on.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:35 PM

Meat, Eggs, Potatoes, and Veggies... Where is she failing?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 02:33 PM

what makes you think she's under-eating? looks like a decent menu to me (of course the devil's in the serving sizes).

4
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on August 19, 2013
at 11:36 AM

Is the baby's doctor concerned? How big are you and the baby's father (in other words, how big is she going to be, genetically)? What's your weight like--are there maternal stores for your body to draw from, or are you already thin? You don't mention how often you're feeding--that will have a definite influence. If you're trying to schedule feedings, that might be your problem.

Quick glance at your diet and I'm not seeing much fat. I'd definitely try to up that. You also might find, if you put your meals into fitday or chronometer, that you're not getting nearly as many calories as you should be.

You may do better talking to people on the boards at mothering.com, rather than the general paleo population at paleohacks, because this seems to be more of a breastfeeding question than a diet question.

2
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on August 19, 2013
at 09:24 PM

Eat more, especially more fats. Make sure you are eating meats like beef or pork for fat and including things like avocado and oils in your diet. Sure, add the smoothies if that is an easy way for you to get more calories.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:50 PM

There's a lot more you need to share before you can get an adequate answer. But assuming you are eating your caloric needs + 10%-20% AND you are properly hydrating yourself (you didn't mention any liquids) then you should be fine. So the concern would be your child's ability to ingest the milk. Couple of options:

1) Try pumping. This way you know whether you are producing enough milk.

2) Weigh the baby. If you don't want to pump, weigh the baby before and after feedings to see how much he/she is consuming.

3) If all else fails, you can supplement with formula. A lot of people will rag on you for feeding your child formula, but my wife and I had trouble breast feeding our children -- despite bringing in several lactation consultants. For me, formula was a miracle

Ultimately though, you should be working with your child's doctor to develop a plan.

0
Acf47829cddf3c2e538a728862734d8a

on August 19, 2013
at 02:58 PM

I wouldn't go very low carb while breastfeeding. You can still stay grain free, but go ahead and take more carbs through other forms. Definitely eat your fill and do not go hungry.

I am familiar with breastfeeding issues and it seems that it is common for breastfed babies to have their weight gain taper off after the first month or two. As long as baby is producing 6 wet/dirty diapers in a day and not losing weight, I would not worry about her weight gain.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:37 PM

you wouldn't worry about a child who has fallen from 50th percentile to 3rd in 9 weeks? I would be mortified.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:36 PM

she's eating 2-3 sweet potatoes per day -- who is low carb?

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